Exercise of the Week Returns!

Way back at the start of HelloStrength.com I featured an “Exercise of the Week”. After a year plus hiatus, I think it’s time to bring it back.

Each week I’ll go over, in more detail than you likely want, an exercise I’m currently loving or think is important for you to include in your routine. We’re kicking things off with…

Barbell Pause Squats

Squats in general are a crucial exercise, because:

  1. We need the ability to sit down and stand up as a functional movement for daily life.
  2. Squats are a compound movement, meaning they use multiple muscle groups at one time, so you get engagement from your core, quads, hamstrings, glutes and more.
  3. Nearly everyone can find a modification of a squat to do that doesn’t cause pain.

Barbell Pause Squats are great, because:

  1. To state the obvious, pausing makes the whole exercise harder. Pausing increases the total time of the movement and limits the stretch reflex that you normally get when not stopping at the bottom of the squat.
  2. Mobility. Especially if you have tight hips, this is going to make you stay in the least comfortable spot of a squat. This is good because it makes it more of an active stretch with your quads, glutes and hamstrings engaged while you stretch.
  3. Form. Slowing down a movement and pausing forces you to pay more attention to your form, which could eventually help you improve your regular squat.

Keep in mind, if the barbell/squat area of the gym is intimidating for you this would be a great movement to try because it’s slow and controlled. However, you could also use a preloaded barbell or even add a pause to your dumbbell or kettlebell squat.

Since the pause does make the overall movement more difficult, make sure to decrease your weight from what you would normally use for a squat.

Tag me on instagram @hellostrengh1 if you give this a try!

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